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Trapsmith: Keep Them Guessing

Trapsmith CoverIn the recent interview I did, I mentioned my love of fencing, feinting, and second intentions. Let me show you how that is applied to trapsmithing.

First, let’s acknowledge that the players are excellent and efficient problem solvers. A GM presents a problem and most players will find a solution for it within a minute—usually faster than that. But, maybe this time the trap lies in the solution?

The world burns! Arch-heretic Haxian Firetongue has done the unthinkable. He has brought the Elemental Plane of Fire into direct alignment with the Material Plane. Azers, fire elementals of all sizes, and numerous other beings from the Elemental Plaen of Fire run wild, wreaking havoc. The affected area, several square miles, literally burns. Only the heroes can stop Haxian’s madness. They must venture into the burning zone and put an end to him and the fruit of his labor.

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Questioning the Trapsmith: An Interview


You’ve been a long-time contributor to Kobold Press with your Trapsmith blog articles and now your Trapsmith book. What about traps keeps drawing you back in?

The design and the result it brings. Let me explain further. After designing hundreds of traps, I’ve come to realize that designing traps is strongly related to something else that I enjoy doing: fencing. Fencing, or any other combative skill, is all about action-reaction. You can win by being stronger or faster, but there is always someone stronger or faster, so to keep winning you need to be smarter. In fencing, that means you need to feint and attack with a second intent. So when designing traps, I set up the initial strike, think of a likely counter and have something ready to deal with the counter if or when it comes. I like engaging in that sort of thought process, so it is very rewarding.

I’ve also come to realize over the years that I like to design new and exciting ways to hurt people—characters, I mean. Saying it aloud like that makes me feel and sound like an awful person (I am actually pretty nice), but with traps there is always something new that can be tried. A wide-open design space is such a generous gift.

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Trapsmith Now Available

OPDTRAPSMITHE_500After many years of research, the kobolds are ready to share some of their most treasured secrets: their traps and a set of trapsmithing rules, as discovered by expert trapsmith Maurice de Mare!

Traps make your game better and add a sting of surprise to any encounter. The Trapsmith sourcebook provides you with more than 100 original, easy-to-run traps for almost every Challenge Ratings, and each trap has been maximized for in-game flavor and mechanics by master trap designer Maurice de Mare.

All Trapsmith designs come complete with statistics for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The book includes:

  • 120 traps spanning a wide range of Challenge Ratings
  • Inventive locks and many useful rogue items
  • Guidance for creating fun, appropriate traps for your own adventures
  • A complete trap-heavy adventure called Whispers of Wyrmhood

Put a little fear into your next dungeon crawl with this collection of trigger-ready traps, and revel in the deathtraps of the old-school dungeon! Pick up Trapsmith today at Paizo, DriveThruRPG, or RPGNow, and unleash a couple surprises in your next game!

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Trapsmith: Get Gavin (Part 2)

Study for the dead alchemist -- Elihu Vedder

10. Bedroom

Two strong wooden doors lead to the terrace. The bedroom is very spacious. Luxurious linens cover the bed. If taken, they could fetch 75 gp.

The doors are currently locked, and  it requires a DC 35 Disable Device check to open them. The doors are of strong quality and have hardness 5 and 20 hp each; their break DC is 25.

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Trapsmith: Get Gavin (Part 1)

Study for the dead alchemist -- Elihu VedderToo many deaths, too many friends lost. They were cheated, drowned, and maimed. All died a horrible death—all because of one man: Gavin. It took some effort to track him down, but you traced him to his workshop and home. It is time to settle scores.

1. Gavin’s Interior Defenses

Above two stout wooden doors, bold yellow letters proclaims the building to be home to “Gavin’s Interior Defenses.” A smaller sign lets the reader know that admittance requires an appointment.

The doors are currently locked, and it requires a DC 28 Disable Device check to open them. The doors are of good quality and have hardness 5 and 15 hp each; their break DC is 18.

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